Tens of thousands of migrants are reportedly emerging at the US-Mexico border ahead of Title 42’s expiration.
In the Texas border city of El Paso, about 2,200 migrants are currently camped or living on the streets a few blocks from major ports of entry that connect El Paso with the Mexican city of Juárez. The city is prepared to open up shelters next week if needed at two vacant school buildings and a civic center.
In a Facebook post Sunday, the city of El Paso said streetcar service is suspended until further notice, pointing to “service changes necessary for public safety and a road closure needed to accommodate the City’s response to the humanitarian migrant crisis issue impacting downtown City services. ”
City officials said over the weekend that parts of Father Rahm Avenue will be shut down as some 1,800 migrants are taking refuge and sleeping on sidewalks by the historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church downtown, the El Paso Times reported.
ABBOTT ACTIVATES ‘TEXAS TACTICAL BORDER FORCE,’ 545 MORE NATIONAL GUARDSMEN DEPLOYED BEFORE TITLE 42 EXPIRES
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser estimated that roughly 10,000 to 12,000 migrants are in Juárez waiting to cross, as local officials prepare for the “unknown.” Leeser said migrants are flocking to the border under what he said is the false assumption that it will be easier to gain entry to the US when Title 42 goes away.
According to a city news release, the El Paso Police Department is warning drivers to “use extra caution” due to groups of migrants possibly running into traffic on highways and streets along the border and downtown. Electronic signs posted along the six-lane César Chávez Border Highway remind drivers to watch out for “unexpected pedestrians” near the Rio Grande, the El Paso Times reported.
MAYORKAS RIPPED FOR SAYING THERE ARE ‘ORDERLY PATHWAYS’ TO ENTER COUNTRY LEGALLY: ‘THAT’S FOR SUCKERS’
On Saturday, US Northern Command said Homeland Security received approval from the Secretary of Defense to deploy 1,500 active duty military members to the southwest border to assist with data entry, warehousing, and monitoring efforts, though those service members will not be permitted to assist in migrant processing.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in turn, on Monday announced a new tactical border force with the state National Guard to determine migrants and drug and human traffickers.
In terms of messaging, local and federal officials have been competing against a powerful human smuggling network that facilitates northern migration and the desperation of migrants who believe they have no other option.
At the Brownsville port of entry, US Customs and Border Protection officials say they’ve run drills to prepare in case there’s a surge of migrants and they need to close the bridge.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Pedestrians cross from Matamoros using a covered walkway that can only accommodate a few people across. Worried about the impact of long lines of migrants coming to the port after May 11 without an appointment and impacting port operations, they’re calling on people to schedule appointments through CBP One.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.